Week 15 of Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 15

Verywell / Bailey Mariner 

It's the second week of your second trimester. At 15 weeks pregnant, your baby is growing and maturing, and you likely have more energy and a lot less nausea.

15 Weeks Pregnant Is How Many Months? 3 months and 3 weeks

Which Trimester? Second trimester

How Many Weeks to Go? 25 weeks

Your Baby's Development at 15 Weeks

At 15 weeks, your baby measures a little under 4 1/2 inches (11.2 centimeters) from the top of their head to the bottom of the buttocks (your healthcare provider might call this measurement the crown-rump length).

The average height for a baby at 15 weeks from the top of their head to their heels (known as crown-heel length) is a little under 6 1/2 inches (61.3 centimeters). This week, your baby weighs almost about 4 ounces (114 grams).

At 15 weeks pregnant, your baby is about the length of a board book
Verywell / Bailey Mariner 

Movements

By 15 weeks, your baby can make whole-body movements, move their arms and legs, stretch, and make breathing motions.

Ears

The outer part of your baby’s ears is growing and steadily becoming more recognizable. Meanwhile, the inner ear continues to develop. While the baby can't quite hear just yet, it will happen soon.

Skin

Your baby’s skin is still very thin and translucent, allowing a clear view of the blood vessels and skeleton.

Bones

Bones continue to ossify or harden. Some bones in the skull, spine, and shoulders, along with the collar bone and long bones, have already begun the process. The bones of the hands and feet are also hardening during this week.

Explore a few of your baby's week 15 milestones in this interactive experience.

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Your Baby's Ultrasound: What to Expect

Your Common Symptoms This Week

As some of the first-trimester symptoms subside, others might begin or continue into the second trimester. Symptoms you might experience during week 15 include:

Weight

You might start to feel notable weight changes this week. While every person is different, pregnant people typically put on about 1 to 5 pounds during the first trimester and about 1 pound each week after that. If your weight has changed significantly more or significantly less, it’s worth talking to your healthcare provider about it.

Bleeding Gums

Hormones affect dental health, and pregnancy can cause gingivitis or sore, red, swollen gums. When your gums are sensitive, they are more likely to bleed—especially when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis tends to progress through pregnancy, starting in the first trimester and getting worse in the second and third. It typically gets better after the baby is born.

Nosebleeds

Between hormones and more blood circulating in your body, there is more blood flowing through your blood vessels, including the blood vessels in your nose. Occasionally, those blood vessels break and bleed.

It can catch you off-guard, but nosebleeds are a common pregnancy complaint that about one in five pregnant people experience. The problem is generally mild and manageable, and it typically goes away after the baby is born.

Self-Care Tips

Take some time this week to learn about healthy weight gain and dental health during pregnancy. It's also a good time to learn (or review) what to do if you get a nosebleed.

Healthy Weight Gain

To increase your odds of a safe, healthy pregnancy and delivery, try to stay within the recommended guidelines for weight gain in pregnancy. The amount of weight you should gain will depend on how much you weighed when you became pregnant and your body mass index (BMI).

Your provider will help you determine the healthiest weight gain plan for your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends specific weight gain targets for people who are pregnant. At your prenatal visits, you can discuss how the current recommendations apply to you.

  • Underweight: 28–40 pounds
  • Normal weight: 25–35 pounds
  • Overweight: 15–25 pounds
  • Obese: 11–20 pounds

What Experts Say

“Ultimately, if you follow a healthy diet, your body will gain exactly what it needs. The week-to-week numbers are not as important as the overall total and the growth of the baby.”

—Allison Hill, MD, OB/GYN

It's important to gain enough weight during pregnancy to prevent preterm birth and low birth weight. It's equally as important to not put on too much extra weight. Gaining too much weight can put you at risk for having a large baby, and you might have more difficulty losing the weight you gained after your baby is born.

Excessive pregnancy weight gain is also associated with pregnancy complications, including high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.

It's much easier to keep an eye on your weight if you start early. Here are some things to keep in mind about pregnancy weight gain:

  • Eat nutritious, balanced meals.
  • Follow your provider's recommendations.
  • Go to all your prenatal appointments.
  • Get the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
  • Stay on top of your weight gain to make sure you're gaining enough, but not too much.

Caring for Your Dental Health

Dental health is important throughout your life, but it's especially important during pregnancy. Changes in your mouth and gums can lead to pregnancy gingivitis. It can then progress to a more dangerous condition called periodontitis, which is linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

To keep up with your oral health in pregnancy:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Brush for two minutes each time.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Floss every day.
  • See your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups.
  • Use a rinse after brushing.

Dealing With Nosebleeds

Nosebleeds can be scary or annoying, but they are rarely dangerous. You can treat an occasional nosebleed at home:

  • Keep your nasal passages from getting dry since dryness can also lead to nosebleeds; talk to your doctor about a safe nasal spray such as saline to keep the area moist.
  • Sit down and keep your head up. Don't tilt your head back or put your head forward between your knees.
  • Pinch the soft part of your nose for 5 to 10 minutes to try to stop the bleeding.
  • Place an ice pack on your nose to help stop the bleeding by constricting the blood vessels or making them smaller.
  • When you have to blow your nose, do it gently.

Occasional nosebleeds that go away when you treat them are typically not a concern. However, if you have a severe nosebleed that will not go away, the bleeding is heavy, or you are getting nosebleeds often, call your provider. High blood pressure or another underlying condition could be to blame.

Your Week 15 Checklist

Advice for Partners

Your support might mean more than you realize. A 2016 study of 2,641 pregnant women found that those who received little support from their partners were up to 80% more likely to have high pregnancy-related anxiety in early pregnancy when compared to women who had strong support. They were also three times more likely to be depressed mid-pregnancy.

On the other hand, the study found that when partners show involvement in the pregnancy through listening to the baby's heartbeat, and attending appointments and classes, it can positively affect the expecting partner's well-being, mental health, and health behaviors.

Since people who are expecting who have partner encouragement and involvement are more likely to get prenatal care and less likely to smoke, a supportive partner can impact the outcome of the pregnancy and even the baby's birth weight.

Support for your partner can exist in many forms, including financial assistance, giving affection, and providing reassurance that you will be helpful when your baby arrives. Take cues from your partner as to the best ways to show your support. You can also ask. And remember, doing the best you can is all you can ask of yourself.

At Your Doctor’s Office

If you, your partner, and your health care provider decided on prenatal genetic testing, the second-trimester screening and diagnostic testing can begin as early as week 15.

Second Trimester Screening

Your provider might offer you a second genetic screening test between week 15 and week 22. It is a blood test that measures four different substances, and it's called the maternal serum screening, quadruple screen, "quad" screen, or multiple marker test. This test provides information on the baby's risk for specific chromosomal abnormalities as well as neural tube defects.

This test is also part of the integrated screening or combination of first- and second-trimester blood screening. If you had the first-trimester screen, the doctors compare both sets of testing to provide you with a more accurate assessment of your baby's risk.

Remember, screening tests do not diagnose your child with a condition. They tell you and the doctor what the chances are that the child may have an issue. If the results show there's a risk, your doctor will recommend more testing.

Amniocentesis

An amniocentesis typically takes place between week 15 and week 20. So, if you've decided to have this genetic test, you may have your appointment scheduled this week.

During the procedure, your provider will use an ultrasound to guide a thin, hollow needle through your abdomen and uterus and into the amniotic sac. Then, they will remove a small sample of amniotic fluid that contains fetal cells. The sample will be sent a lab for testing.

The procedure is relatively quick and takes about 10 minutes. You will stay for about an hour afterward for monitoring. Then, you can go home to rest. You will be given instructions for your recovery following the procedure. It can take a few days to a few weeks to receive results, and waiting can be stressful.

Upcoming Doctor’s Visits

Your next routine prenatal appointment might be next week at 16 weeks.

An anatomy scan or Level II (Level 2) ultrasound is usually scheduled between 18 weeks and 22 weeks.

Special Considerations

Your age, a health condition, or a pregnancy complication, might mean that your pregnancy is considered to be high-risk.

High-Risk Pregnancy

A high-risk pregnancy is one with a greater chance of complications. However, with careful monitoring and regular prenatal care, a high-risk pregnancy can lead to a safe delivery and a healthy baby.

If you’ve recently learned that your pregnancy is high-risk, your healthcare provider might refer you to a perinatologist or maternal-fetal medicine specialist. These professionals are obstetricians who specialize in the care of the fetus and complicated pregnancies. Often, a perinatologist won’t act as your primary healthcare provider but will work in conjunction with your OB/GYN or midwife.

You may also have to see other specialists such as a cardiologist for blood pressure monitoring or an endocrinologist to keep diabetes under control.

To help you get through your high-risk pregnancy, be sure to go to all your appointments, follow the instructions of all your providers, learn what to watch for, and seek emotional and mental health support if you need it.

A Word From Verywell

By 15 weeks, you might be feeling pretty good. You might have more energy and an increased appetite. Remember, even though you're "eating for two" nutritionally speaking and maybe want to make up for the meals lost to vomiting in the first trimester, you don't want to overdo it. Be sure to get in some nutritious foods and regular exercise to help prevent gaining too much too quickly.

If this isn't your first pregnancy, you might start to feel fluttering next week. Plus, if you haven't begun to show yet, it shouldn't be long before that bump makes its debut. Most expecting moms start to show by 16 weeks.

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Article Sources
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Additional Reading
  • Allison Hill, MD. Email communication. October, November 2017.